The Solo Sandeng Foundation has paid tribute to UDP leader Ousainou Darboe and all those who took to the streets on April 16, 2016 demanding the ‘dead-or-alive’ release of Solo Sandeng.
Solo Sandeng’s arrest on April 14 and his subsequent murder prompted UDP leaders and rank-and-file supporters to take to the streets to demand for his release. They were stopped by riot police who brutalized them with the likes of Darboe later sent to Mile Two.
Friday marks five years of the event and the Solo Sandeng Foundation in a statement signed by President Fatoumatta Sandeng Darboe said: “As we remember another historic day of our struggle to restore democracy in The Gambia, we pay homage to the gallant men and women who on the 16th of April 2016 took to the streets to demand for the release of Solo Sandeng and the rest of the Westfield protesters of 14/4/16. They chanted “Release Solo Sandeng dead or alive”. Face to face with forces of one of Africa’s most brutal dictatorships, their lives have not been the same ever after, because with a great spirit of patriotism they paid the price in sweat, blood and in jail terms. The April 14th Protest gave birth to the April 16th Protest and many more resistances that followed, therefore the need for this day to be celebrated and remembered equally.
“Five years on we honor, recognize, and respect the sacrifices of these patriots for country. Generations of Gambians unborn will learn about them and the true patriotic senses they all possess.
“The Solo Sandeng Foundation also calls on the government of The Gambia to ensure that justice is served for the April 14/16 protesters and all victims in The Gambia. This as is evident is the only way for our nation to go through proper healing and reconcile with the gruesome atrocities that occurred in this country for 22 years.
“On behalf of the Sandeng family, the Solo sandeng Foundation wishes all a reflective and proud April 16th anniversary. We pray for colleagues of our father, grandfather, husband, and icon to continue to withstand the life changing effects of this day and we reaffirm our gratitude to their resolve for justice and peace in our beloved Gambia.”